‘We’ll back any nation fighting Zionist regime’
Islamic Republic will not yield to international pressure to abandon its nuclear course, says Iran’s Supreme Leader. By Ho New / Reuters
TEHRAN - Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Friday that Iran would support any nation that wants to confront Israel. “I have no fear of saying that we will back and help any nation or group that wants to confront and fight against the Zionist regime (Israel),” he said.
He also stated that the Islamic Republic would not yield to international pressure to abandon its nuclear course, threatening retaliation for sanctions aimed at Iran’s oil exports.
Khamenei’s defiant speech to mark the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution was the first direct response to tighter sanctions imposed by the West in recent weeks to force Tehran to abandon a nuclear program it says has purely peaceful ends.
“Threatening Iran and attacking Iran will harm America … Sanctions will not have any impact on our determination to continue our nuclear course … In response to threats of oil embargo and war, we have our own threats to impose at the right time,” Khamenei told worshipers in a speech broadcast live on state television.
Khamenei added that any US military strike against Iran would backfire and that the “painful and crippling” Western sanctions would only increase the resilience of Iran.
“Americans say all options are on the table even the option of military strike (against Iran)… Any military strike is ten times more harmful for America. Such threats show that they have no sufficient discourse against Iran’s logic and discourse, he said.”